The global solar market is improving rapidly, but expectations are still getting ahead of reality. That's what hurt JinkoSolar Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE:JKS) today after reporting vastly improved earnings and still watching its stock drop 3% during trading.  

First-quarter shipments were up an impressive 72% to 581.2 MW, and revenue jumped 73% to $323.9 million. JinkoSolar even swung to a small profit of $1.5 million from a loss a year ago.

What investors need to keep in mind is that the first quarter is seasonably slow for solar companies, who usually see a rush of demand in the fourth quarter. That was the case for JinkoSolar, as indicated by a drop in shipments from 586.3 MW, although that was quite a bit smaller than the drop experienced by other solar companies.

JinkoSolar also has projects under construction, which can swing revenue and earnings from one quarter to the next. 140 MW of projects are expected to be completed in the second quarter, with construction starting on 200 MW to 250 MW more. Long-term, these projects and growing global demand will help drive results higher, so I wouldn't be too concerned about a slight drop in the stock today, because operations are headed in the right direction.

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Travis Hoium has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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